Lutheran Services Carolinas provides refuge to people from across the world who have suffered persecution in their homelands. Working closely with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and local faith organizations, LSC offers welcome to vulnerable refugees and helps them transition into a new life and a new culture.
(Photo by Chris Herlinger)
Who are refugees?
Refugees are people who have been forced to flee their home country due to a well-founded fear of persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.
Today there are 15.2 million people worldwide who have been forced to flee their home countries and live as refugees in a foreign land. Millions more are displaced internally within their own country. Many are forced to live for years in overcrowded refugee camps where they must struggle daily to meet their basic needs. Those who are not able to reach the protection of a camp must live in unstable and dangerous conditions, moving often from place to place to avoid danger. All are in need of a safe place to call home.
Just One Story - A Special Perspective
Noor Amiri is an Afghan, a Muslim, and a friend of the United States. He's also a refugee, forced to leave his homeland because his job was to assist the U.S. armed forces and the Afghan forces who were fighting the Taliban.
How does refugee resettlement work?
The U.S. Government determines the admission ceiling for refugees annually.
A person may be referred by the United Nations for the High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the U.S. embassy, or by a relative who is currently living in the United States. Candidates must be interviewed and screened by the Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Citizenship and by Immigration Services. Once a refugee is approved for admission they are allocated to one of 10 national U.S. voluntary resettlement agencies.
(Photo by Paul Jeffrey)
All refugees are automatically enrolled in the Reception and Placement Program. This program is designed to help new arrivals become acclimated to life in the United States. LSC case managers work with families and co-sponsoring organizations to:
- Arrange housing
- Facilitate access to social services and public benefits
- Arrange health screenings and access to health care
- Assist with school enrollment
- Provide cultural education and self-sufficiency planning
- Assist with communication needs
- Provide support and welcome to all clients
LSC also ensures that all newly arrived refugees have access to English language classes or to one-on-one tutoring to help them acquire the necessary language skills they need to thrive in their new home.
(Photo by Erol Kekic)
Obtaining stable employment in the United States is one of the most critical steps a newly-arrived refugee must take on their path toward self-sufficiency. The LSC job development teams work hard to assist refugees and asylees find employment through skills assessments, job placement, job upgrade support, interpretation support, documentation support, employment and skills trainings, and on-going follow-up and support for both the employer and the employee.